Tool path generation and 3D tolerance analysis for free-form surfaces
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This dissertation focuses on developing algorithms that generate tool paths for free-form surfaces based on accuracy of desired manufactured part. A manufacturing part is represented by mathematical curves and surfaces. Using the mathematical representation of the manufacturing part, we generate reliable and near optimal tool paths as well as cutter location (CL) data file for postprocessing. This algorithm includes two components. First is the forward-step function which determines maximum distance called forward- step between two cutter contact (CC) points with given tolerance. This function is independent of the surface type and is applicable to all continuous parametric surfaces that are twice differentiable. The second component is the side-step function which determines maximum distance called side-step between two adjacent tool paths with a given scallop height. This algorithm reduces manufacturing and computing time as well as the CC points while keeping the given tolerance and scallop height in the tool paths. Several parts, for which the CC points are generated using the proposed algorithm, are machined using a three axes milling machine. As part of the validation process, the tool paths generated during machining are analyzed to compare the machined part and the desired part.
Choi, Young Keun (2003). Tool path generation and 3D tolerance analysis for free-form surfaces. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from